The U.S. midterm elections are Tuesday, November 8th and things are already heating up. All 435 seats in the House of Representatives, 35 seats in the Senate and 36 governorships are up for grabs. Voters seem split on who they’ll favor on election day — but this will be a big midterm for the financial world regardless.
Typically, the stock market experiences heightened volatility leading up to a midterm and rallies after, but things are looking different this year. Between soaring inflation and recession fears, the market may not follow the usual pattern.
Big events like these are a good time to put yourself in your audience’s shoes and address any questions they may have. They’re liking wondering how the stock market will fare in the months (or even years) ahead depending on the outcome of the election — and how a recession will impact things further.
The holiday spending season is officially upon us (and no, you aren’t imagining things; holiday shopping starts earlier and earlier each year). While the pandemic slowed things down a bit, spending has been picking up recently. This year, the average consumer plans to spend $1,430 on gifts, entertainment, and travel this holiday season — up 20 percent from 2020.
With spending on the rise, so is holiday debt. Last year, a LendingTree study found 36 percent of respondents went into debt to cover holiday costs.
Help take the sting out of rising costs with tips on how to cut down on spending.
While gifts make up the majority of holiday spending, don’t forget the other cost creeps. With gas prices still high, travel will also be more expensive this year.
Consider a listicle-style blog to share practical information that your audience can quickly consume in between holiday happy hours.
Topic #3: Should climate risk factor into retirement plans?
Some financial professionals have questioned whether soon-to-be retirees should incorporate climate risks into their retirement strategy. People often want to move when they retire, but many retirement hotspots are prone to natural disasters.
Take Florida, which attracts retirees due to its white sand beaches and warm weather. The average cost of flood insurance in the state is now $785 per year — 6 percent higher than the national average.
As hurricanes and flooding become increasingly unpredictable and disasters get costlier, insurance will continue to rise — and may also become harder to find, leaving retirees financially vulnerable. In Florida alone, nearly a dozen insurance firms have become insolvent in the last two years.
Although no one can predict how natural disasters will unfold in the upcoming years, experts agree that some regions will be financially more affected than others. Insurance premiums will rise, labor and repair costs will increase over time and retirees may find themselves needing to cover those costs more frequently.
Consider covering this topic as a think piece for your audience nearing retirement. Should relocating retirees factor in climate change when choosing a locale?
For those that want to retire to natural disaster-prone areas, what costs should they consider? How might the added expenses change their retirement plan?
For possibly the first time ever, online sales dipped on Black Friday in 2021. While some of the decline can be attributed to the economy, the era of angry mobs attacking storefronts for doorbuster deals may be ending.
In its wake, we’re seeing the rise of conscious consumerism. Increasingly, consumers (particularly millennials and Gen Z) are shying away from major sales holidays. Last year, an event in Australia dubbed “Green Friday” hit the scene and has been building momentum. In the U.S., retailers like Patagonia famously opt out of sales — and even close down — for Black Friday.
Consumers aren’t going to stop holiday shopping, but they are increasingly looking for ways to shop with more purpose.
Heart-centered holidays like “Giving Tuesday” are rising in popularity as consumers shift their focus from discounts to philanthropy.
Consider giving your audience a unique, money saving take on Black Friday by discussing some of these alternative movements like Green Friday or Giving Tuesday.
Topic #5: Affordable Care Act open enrollment period
The Health Insurance Marketplace officially opens for enrollment in November. Folks have until December 15th to enroll for January 1st coverage, while the official cutoff for the year (without qualifying for a special enrollment period) is January 15th.
During the Great Resignation, many people left their traditional jobs, so some of your audience may be entering the health insurance market for the first time. Shopping and comparing insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act is fairly different than what they’ve been used to. Costs are often higher, and they need some guidance.
Healthcare costs are also on the rise, so this is also a good opportunity to discuss money-saving tactics like adding a health savings account.